How are Models Related to Theories and Hypotheses? with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

Theories and hypotheses are an integral part of the models, which reflect the phenomena of the real world.                            How are Models Related to Theories and Hypotheses

Thus, this article aims to explain.,

     1. What is a hypothesis?
     2. What is a theory?
     3. What is a model?
     4. How are models related to theories and hypotheses?

What is a hypothesis?

A hypothesis is “a tentative explanation for a scientific observation, phenomenon, or problem that can be tested by further investigation” (American Heritage dictionary). It can also be explained as an assumption based on observation and prior knowledge. This assumption must go through a series of tests to prove or disprove something. A hypothesis becomes a theory once it is tested.

What is a theory?                               How are Models Related to Theories and Hypotheses

Theory can be defined as a “set of statements or principles designed to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly proven or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena” (American Heritage dictionary) . A theory is a principle or a set of principles that scientifically explains a phenomenon. Such an explanation only becomes a theory, once a hypothesis is repeatedly tested and proven with sufficient evidence. Theories can also be disproven after rigorous testing when a new theory contradicts the old one.

Difference between hypothesis and theory

What is a model

A scientific model is somewhere between a hypothesis and a theory. A hypothesis becomes a model when some tests have been performed and the hypothesis becomes a valid observation. A theory is a model that has been tried and tested repeatedly.

Scientists often use scientific models to explain real-world phenomena by comparing them. Testability is one of the main requirements of a scientific model; They are only accepted by scientists once they have been tested in the real world.

Some examples of scientific models:

Plate tectonic model: The outer layer of the earth is divided into slowly moving segments called plates.

Biological evolutionary model: explains how existing species originate from previous species through the process of natural selection.

Spherical model – explains the spherical shape of the earth.

Difference between model and theory

Let us now see how models are related to theories.

How are models related to theories and hypotheses?

Hypothesis and theories are an integral part of the models. Hypotheses serve as the foundation for scientific models. Once a testable hypothesis has been tested several times and confirmed as a valid observation, it is accepted as a model. A model that successfully explains a phenomenon can become part of a theory. Once a model is repeatedly tested and confirmed, it becomes an accepted theory. This is the relationship between theory, hypothesis and models.

Models should always be based on sound scientific principles. A model clarifies a phenomenon by explaining how that phenomenon occurs as a result of another phenomenon. They can also be used to make reliable predictions about some phenomena. Therefore, models are very valuable in explaining a phenomenon.


  • A hypothesis is a conjecture based on prior knowledge and observation.
  • A hypothesis becomes a model after it is tested several times and accepted as a valid observation.
  • A model becomes a theory or a part of a theory once it is repeatedly tested and confirmed. 

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